An anniversary we should remember: Rejecting racism against Indigenous peoples’ spirituality

By Br Mark O'Connor FMS, 19 October 2021
Pope Francis greets representatives of Indigenous communities. Image: Supplied.


As Mike Lewis, Editor of Where Peter Is, has pointed out, it is two years ago this week when angry, unhinged, reactionary bigots disgraced themselves by promoting lies while cheering a thief who stole from indigenous Amazonian Catholics and slandered their culture. Liz Dodd was having none of it:

There were even some in the Church in Australia, who also openly promoted racism and mocked the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. The humble offering of these oppressed people from the depths of their hearts was graciously accepted by Pope Francis in St Peter’s.

Pathetic and theologically illiterate attempts to label this as ‘paganism’ are also an affront to St Pope John Paul II who always encouraged the local churches to inculturate the ‘seeds’ of the Spirit present in all people who search for the divine. See:

The shocking history of the massive genocide of millions of the indigenous populations in South America is scarcely believable. It is ongoing in today’s Amazon in different forms and at the hands of moneyed interests! If outrage is called for, it should be about the destruction of the bodies of millions of indigenous peoples, every single one made in the image of God. It should not be used as a concocted fake controversy by EWTN et al. to campaign against the first South American Pope.

For a remarkable study of one brave Dominican who, virtually alone, defended the indigenous from the conquistadors who were brutalising native peoples see:

Readers may care to take another look at my own letter, reporting from the Synod of the Amazon for a description of those days in October 2019 –

Br Mark O’Connor FMS is the Vicar for Communications in the Diocese of Parramatta.


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